We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (With A&M)

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It feels that way, doesn’t it?

After being teased by a Texas vs. Texas A&M matchup for weeks by bowl prognosticators, Longhorn fans will have to wait until next year. Texas has two dormant rivalries with current SEC teams, and one of them will be rekindled on December 29 in Houston at the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl. Unfortunately, it’s Arkansas and not Texas A&M who will be on the other side of the ball for Charlie Strong’s first time at the helm of a Longhorn bowl game. The only real storyline here for the two 6-6 teams playing before New Year’s Day is that Strong was born and raised in Arkansas. Which is to say there isn’t really a storyline.

Texas and Arkansas have played 77 times since 1894—a 54-0 blowout by the Longhorns—so this rivalry isn’t a random pairing. Texas leads the series 56-21. Razorback and Longhorn fans, especially those around for the Southwest Conference days, still value the matchup, one that hasn’t seen a game between the two teams since 2008.

One of the most important meetings in college football history was a late-season UT vs. Arkansas game in 1969, with Texas winning 15-14. Richard Nixon was in attendance, and handed Darrell K Royal a plaque and the proverbial national championship crown in the Longhorns’ locker room following what has since been named the Game of the Century.

Beyond the history, however, are a few important notes for Texas. One is that Longhorn quarterback Tyrone Swoopes may be auditioning for his own job in the Texas Bowl. After a slow start, the cannon-armed sophomore looked more polished as the season wore on, leading Texas on a mini-winning-streak against Texas Tech, West Virginia, and Oklahoma State. After claiming bowl eligibility, however, Swoopes regressed in a big way on Thanksgiving against TCU. After a five-turnover night, Swoopes will look to end the season on a high note, though its certain he will receive some competition from freshman dual-threat Jerod Heard, among others.

Another, obviously, is Charlie Strong’s first bowl game win. Though Strong did warn us that Texas wouldn’t win the national championship this season, he still has the chance to put an exclamation point on the season with a win over the Razorbacks.

Finally, if seniors like Quandre Diggs and Cedric Reed have big games to close out their senior season, it can only help their draft stock this spring. We all remember what happened in the NFL Draft last spring.

It’s not A&M, but it’s a bowl game against another once-rival, played right here in Texas. Let’s just hope the burnt-orange mock turtleneck makes an appearance.

Image courtesy UT Athletics. 

 

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